Our friends over at Goldspont sent us this sample of Mont Blanc Oyster Grey fountain pen ink (find it here at Goldspot) for review, and for some reason I’ve really enjoyed using grey inks so I was excited to get my hands on this one. The elegant and highly functional glass bottle alone puts the ink on par with the Pelikan Edelstein and Caran d’Ache lines of ink for presentation alone.
On my initial glance, the Mont Blanc Oyster Grey fountain pen ink looked like it had a slight purple tint to it, but in the bottle or on the nib, you will usually see that any ink is darker than it will appear once you start writing with it. Filling my TWSBI Diamond 580 from the Mont Blanc bottle was very easy due to girth of the mouth of the bottle. The great thing about the design of this bottle is that once you start to run low on ink, you can tip it forward so the front chamber fills and is deep enough so that you can still get out the majority of the ink.
Mont Blanc Oyster Grey Writing Sample
Jumping right into the writing sample with this ink, I was surprised by a few aspects of it, especially when comparing to other grey inks. The first thing I noticed was that with the TWSBI 1.5 stub nib, there was a decent amount of good shading going on with this ink. Even with the much smaller XXF nib on my Lamy Studio you can still see some shading. I actually didn’t even think about the fact that I was using two of my nibs that fall on the two extreme ends of the spectrum. Dry time in both a Black n’ Red notebook (still cant beat that deal at Amazon) and InkJournal Black (via InkJournal) leave a bit to be desired.
I would definitely consider the Mont Blanc Oyster Grey to fall more towards the heavily saturated end of things, but would hesitate to call it “highly” saturated. I also found that initially the ink seemed like it was pretty wet and easy flowing in the TWSBI with its wide nib, but I came to experience some skipping if I didn’t constantly keep the nib moving on my paper. Something as subtle as a 5-6 second pause would sometimes result in a false start when I went back to writing. I found that with my Lamy Studio XXF nib, the problem seemed to go away. This leaves me thinking that the ink probably has some pretty good flow quality to it, but that the 1.5mm stub nib may just be way too thirsty for the ink to keep up, but on smaller nibs it should be totally fine.
In my first day or so of writing with the Mont Blanc Oyster Grey ink I was pretty pleased with not only the performance, but also the color. It wasn’t until I actually started comparing this to my other grey inks though that I saw some differences that made me think that if I’m going to go grey (ink, not hair) I’d probably be more inclined to grab my bottle of Caran d’Ache Infinite Grey. The comparisons above show these two inks as well as Noodler’s Lexington Gray. In comparison, Mont Blanc’s Oyster Grey is more of a true grey to my eye, but personally I prefer the brighter and more silvery/blue tones of the Caran d’Ache Infinite grey.
Overall I’d say that the Mont Blanc Oyster Grey is a good ink, however it does’t stand out from the crowd, even in its smaller peer group of grey inks for me. The great look and feel of the glass bottle along with the filling reservoir are definitely positives that add to the overall value of think ink, but are still not enough to get me to switch over from my Caran d’Ache Infinite Grey. As with most inks though, preferences for the actual color varies by person and just because I have a blog doesn’t make my opinion any better than yours, so if you have the urge for a grey ink in a great bottle, there are plenty of bottles to be had from our friends over at Goldspot.